6 Benefits Of Dental Implants
With implants gradually replacing dentures, we take a look at why they are well-worth considering
At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, we have been supplying dentures for our patients for over 30 years. This has been the long standing method of replacing missing teeth, along with bridges, and has provided an acceptable solution for many. However, few people would argue though that dentures feel as natural or are as practical and convenient as your own natural teeth. Given that it is not currently possible to grow a new tooth, it probably comes as no surprise then, that an alternative was sought for many years before finally being discovered in the 1960s.
This new discovery was dental implants. Although not widely available until relatively recently, they are becoming increasingly popular with patients around the world, and for very good reasons. Our Burton dental clinic is pleased to offer them, both for replacing individual missing teeth and where a full arch of missing teeth needs to be replaced.
What is a dental implant?
Before we look at the advantages of implants, it is worth a brief recap about what they are. The implant itself is a screw-like object that is placed into the jawbone. This then bonds securely with the bone, providing a secure artificial tooth root. An abutment is then used to attach a dental crown to the implant. It is a relatively simple idea that does require a sophisticated, but highly successful, procedure.
Let us take a look then at some of the main reasons why dental implants have an advantage over dentures.
Strength and stability
Although denture wearers are often satisfied with their appearance, it is in the areas of strength and stability that dentures sometimes let people down. Because they sit on top of the gums, they are less stable than a natural tooth, even with the use of denture adhesive. This means that when you bite harder foods especially, the dentures can start to move around. For this reason, many denture wearers are careful about what they eat, potentially limiting the enjoyment of eating out with friends or other social occasions.
Less commonly, but it does happen, dentures can become loose during a conversation and start to move around in the mouth, or even fall out. This can be highly embarrassing for the person concerned.
With dental implants being secured by the artificial tooth root, you will experience neither of the above situations, meaning that you can eat comfortably and without worrying about them working loose.
Easy to care for
Unlike dentures, which have to be removed for cleaning, you can clean your dental implants in the same way that you do your own natural teeth. Although the tooth part of the implant is artificial, it is still important that you do look after them. Gum disease is still a threat and could cause the implant to become loose. Thankfully, if you brush well, use floss and see your hygienist on a regular basis, this should not be a problem.
Looks and feels like a natural tooth
Dental implants are natural looking and the crown can be made in a colour and style that matches the rest of your teeth. Equally, if both arches of teeth are to be replaced with a fixed bridge, using implants to secure them in place, you can have replacement teeth that are as white as you want.
Although you may not think your new implant feels like a natural tooth initially, this is to be expected while it settles in and you become used to it. After a while, most patients find that their new implant feels quite natural to them.
Prevents bone loss
One thing which might not occur to the layperson is that when you lose a tooth, the bone which previously held it in place no longer has that function. Because of this, it no longer remains in place and is gradually reabsorbed by the body so that its minerals can be used elsewhere. This can have the knock on effect of allowing other teeth to encroach into that space if not replaced.
Both dentures or a bridge don’t use an artificial tooth root to replace the lost tooth and so bone reduction still happens. With a dental implant, your new replacement root will prevent this from occurring and help to preserve the bone structure of your face.
While you might have to replace your dentures over time, either due to wear or breakage, often caused by being dropped when cleaning; dental implants may well last you for your lifetime. Although there are no guarantees of that of course and it will depend on your age and how well you look after them, dental implants have been known to last for over 30 years. With good care, you can expect 20 years of life from them. Remember though, that you do need to keep them clean and make sure that they are monitored by one of the dentists at our Burton practice.
This is one that a lot of patients are surprised about. The initial price of implants can seem relatively high, but the fact they shouldn’t need replacing and rarely need any additional work once they have become integrated with your jaw, makes them a good long term investment. We know that the initial outlay may prove to be a challenge for some of our patients and we are always pleased to discuss our various payment options to help you spread the cost.
If you would like to find out more about teeth implants or to book an initial consultation to discuss them, please call Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345.Google+